When two people get married they are thinking about living “happily ever after.” They are certainly not focusing on the fact that half of all marriages end in divorce. So, if a couple finds themselves at the point where divorce is the only option, it can be very confusing and depressing. At Gibbons Law Firm, we have noticed a few myths or misconceptions people have about divorce. Because our family law attorneys in Lake Ozark are more familiar with the process than most people, we have answers to some common questions or myths. If you are considering divorcing your spouse, and need more information about what it entails, we have some interesting information in today’s blog for you.
You can only divorce your spouse if they commit adultery.
Most states, including Missouri, are no-fault divorce states. That means that no marital misconduct has to be proven before you can file for divorce. In Missouri, the only requirement is that there is “no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved, and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.“ If you have irreconcilable differences and see no possibility for repairing the relationship, you are able to file for divorce in Missouri.
Getting divorced will involve an expensive court battle.
If the spouses are in agreement on division of property, custody, etc., the process doesn’t have to be adversarial. Having an experienced family law attorney working with you can help you determine how their assets and responsibilities should be divided, as well as child custody, and any other unique matters in a way that you believe can be mutually agreed upon by both spouses. If your spouse is agreement on what the final outcome should be, it can be relatively straightforward to get that finalized legally with the help of a good attorney.
You cannot get divorced unless both spouses agree.
This isn’t true. In Missouri, if a person no longer wants to be married, they do not have to be bound to their marriage. If the other spouse does not want to divorce, they may try to hinder the proceedings, and may very well make things more difficult. But they don’t actually have to agree in order for the divorce to take place.
The mother will automatically be given custody of the child.
When the court decides who to award custody to it will base the decision on eight statutory factors. It will not necessarily go to the children’s primary caregiver in the past or the parent with the highest income. You and your attorney will have the opportunity to prove to the court that you are the best choice based on those eight factors. You will want to have an experienced divorce attorney in central Missouri who can guide you in proving that to the court.
If a spouse refuses to pay child support, he or she loses visitation rights.
You may not withhold visitation with your child from your ex because he or she is refusing to pay child support. Even if it seems like that’s the only way you are going to get your spouse to help pay for the expenses of raising your child, it is very unadvised to do so. If the court finds out you are withholding visitation rights from your spouse until you receive child support, there could be legal consequences. It can also cause unnecessary resentment between you and your child. If your spouse has been ordered to pay child support and bear their fair share of the financial responsibility of raising your child, and he or she refuses to honor that order, you should contact an attorney to decide the appropriate and most effective action to take.
Gibbons Law Firm is here for you!
We know this is tough, and not something you wanted. But if your marriage cannot be repaired, and your only option is divorce, we can help you get through it and look out for your best interests. At Gibbons Law Firm, we offer free initial consultations with our divorce lawyers in mid-Missouri. We are here to answer your questions and provide guidance through this difficult time. Our contact information is below for your convenience. If you are interested in more legal tips and information from our law firm, we invite you to follow us on our social media platforms using the links below.
Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.